Sunday, September 14, 2008

Firefox Takes The Lead At SnS

Image credit: Screenshot of Sitemeter page by Cujo359

The viewers of this site are, almost by definition, an example of a small, self-selecting population. Even so, I thought this chart was interesting. It shows that the Firefox web browser, along with its Netscape and Mozilla (now Seamonkey) brethren, account for 50 percent of the traffic here. Microsoft's Internet Explorer makes up about 44 percent of the views, with the rest being mostly Apple's Safari.

Two years ago, I think those numbers would have been very different. Back then, IE was accounting for something like two-thirds of page views.

I've been encouraging people to use Firefox for some time. It's available for Windows, for the Mac, as well as for POSIX systems. It's more secure, and it blocks most of the annoying popups that make browsing with IE hell. While it's not what I'd call a lightweight application, it is way ahead of IE. Its extensions, which are mostly contributed by users, make it much more customizable and useful.

Best of all, it's free.

While it's probably not much of an improvement for Safari users, I'd recommend that anyone who is using Internet Explorer give Firefox a try. If you do, I'd recommend that you also load these two extensions:

  • NoScript - an extension that blocks Javascript unless you specifically allow it. It also has sophisticated checks for cross-site script attacks.

  • AdBlock - an extension that blocks most ads and other spam that appear just about everywhere these days.

I never surf the Internet without these two extensions. There are other extensions, of course, like Google Toolbar and the various search tools, that add functionality or make it easier to get where you want to be.

If you're an IE user, I suspect you'll wonder how you ever got along without Firefox.


HopeSpringsATurtle said...

As a firefox user myself, the only other thing i would recommend because i love it is the IGoogle as a homepage. Tons of cool add-ons from moon phases to YouTube and wiki boxes. Thanks for the post.

Cujo359 said...

You're welcome. I usually just leave the home page blank for some reason. I think it's a habit left over from the days when one's connection to the Internet wasn't ready until after a long chain of screeches, tones, and white noise.

I often go to the Yahoo equivalent of IGoogle. For me, the coolest thing is being able to see headlines from my local papers and the wire services at once. No wiki boxes, though.